THE Cat Community Radio, which has been
entertaining audiences in Crewe and Nantwich in previous years,
is back on the air with a 28-day
Restricted Service Licence (RSL) broadcast [from November 23]. Their
studio was in Crewe.
Paul Simpson, who is a contributor to "A Dabber's Nantwich"
(Family Lines), e-mailed me to
say: "We have moved and built a new studio at Frederick House,
one of the old Barony Hospital buildings. We will be
broadcasting on 87.7 FM. Full programme details are available on
our web site with a 'listen live' feature at
The radio is staffed by a
group of amateur broadcasters and this is their third RSL
There's a studiocam
feeding a live picture of the presenters to The Cat website.
I SPENT a happy two hours at the
studio as a guest of Paul, telling the listening audience about
"A Dabber's Nantwich" website, Nantwich Players and the
extension to the theatre building - and getting a "plug" in for
the new video about curiosities in Cheshire, "More Cheshire
Curiosities", that I and two amateur colleagues had made.
That was then. The
trilogy is now completed with the
launch of "Further Cheshire
Curiosities". Visit the
website for more details. Partly because I wanted
to get the picture above, and partly because I had turned down
Paul's invitation to appear on his show when the studios were in
Crewe, I went along to Frederick House.
Without wishing to make
it sound too easy (which it definitely is not), presenting the show is a mixture of
introducing a variety of records, giving information about local
events, taking a feed of news bulletins from Sky News, and
interviewing any guests.
This means that
everything has to run to a tight schedule - particularly
finishing a record in good time, without simply fading it out - to receive the news bulletin
which goes out at a set time from another location and to other
stations or websites at the same time. There's
no asking "Can you wait a second?"
True, the computer
plays a big part in this, but - particularly when there is a
guest to be interviewed - the presenter can override the running
schedule "on the fly". That is, as he or she goes along,
omitting a record from the list, or substituting another one. But
even the bits the computer takes care of have to be loaded by a
human being - i.e. Paul - before it can play the music, the
adverts, the jingles, and short items "advertising"
At the time Paul was co-presenting with
Julie Lewis but she was sunning herself abroad on the morning I called in.
That didn't let her off appearing on air, though. Paul called
her up in her hotel and they had a live chat as part of his programme.
"I've got a guest this
morning," he told her. "Yes," she said, "I can see the back of
his head on the studiocam picture."
My bald spot there for
all to see!
Speaking on air
involves being up close and personal with the microphone -
nose-to-mic, one might say - and speaking into the underside of
the equipment! This is not easy and so I kept getting frantic
waves from Paul to get closer to the microphone.
I think I was getting
the hang of it towards the end of the broadcast.
All of the Cat staff -
on air and off it - are amateur broadcasters with jobs to fit
their radio duties around.
Anyone who knows me
will know I am a "background person", preferring to be backstage
or behind a camera, rather than addressing an audience face to
face, but I thoroughly enjoyed my brief time of fame via The Cat
Thanks for persisting,